The History of Kynoch's Club

Hartfield Parade, Canvey Island

Kynoch’s Club Sign in 2004

Maureen Buckmaster has emailed the following information:

‘Here is a photo of some of the Kynochs Club drinkers. I’ve put the names on the photo, they were all old Islanders. I don’t know Slim’s proper name, he was always known as Slim!! Harry Hull had I think three boys and a couple of daughters. I don’t know the name of the man in the middle, my father is next. Sonny Pearson if my memory serves me right owned the Sunnyside Hotel which then became the original convent school. I think he also set up or helped set up the Boxing Club.’

Kynoch’s Club

‘The photo was taken in the inside bar where the toilets were, not the bar where the stage was. I don’t know if you’ve been able to get inside there to look [Yes I have see HERE!]. There used to be a side door that was open and the poor place was badly vandalised in the 1970s.’

‘Did you know there was also originally a Canvey Club around the corner from the Existing Canvey Club? It looked a bit like the photos of the Small Gains Club but it burned down in the 1940s.’

‘My brother in law told me that the Kynoch’s Club originaly started at the Kynochs Hotel (near the Lobster Smack) before moving to its present location (presumably when the Kynochs Hotel closed 1960’s?).

The Kynoch Hotel at Holehaven

‘It was originally owned by Charlie Neale, who owned the bookmakers and Bill Adams worked for him, but then Charlie sold it to Bill.’

‘The Kynochs and the Canvey Club were both owned by Bill ‘Nigger’ Adams (not politically correct, but that was his nickname as he had dark hair and a swarthy complexion). I belive that he couldn’t read or write but was an excellent businessman. He also had a scrap metal dealership. His son Billy later owned the Windjammer Pub on the seafront. There was also a daughter, Carol.’

Post Card of Hartfield Parade in its hey day

‘The Kynochs had two bars. You went through the front doors then in through more double doors into a large room with a bar counter which continued round into a smaller bar, in the left hand corner by the door. At the far end of the room was a stage which I seem to remember had a door on the right that led outside. In this large bar were also a couple of billiards tables.’

‘The second much smaller bar had a a couple of doors leading to toilets in it. I was only ever allowed to go into that bar if I needed the toilet, otherwise I stayed in the large room. There was a piano by the door that led into the smaller bar and my mother often used to play and sing there (I think that’s where I also first sang when I was about five or six!)’

Hartfield Parade in 2001 – The sign has faded badly since then

‘I believe there was sometimes entertainment on stage, often organised by Rosa Keegan who would juggle with cigar boxes and whose husband rode a monocycle. I believe he had been in the circus as had Rosa. She seemd old when I was young althought she may only have been in her 50s or 60s. She was one of the characters of Canvey in those days. I think Terry O’Dare also used to drink and occasionally sang there in his latter days (you will remember him from your items on the Casino ballroom). There was usually an outing organised at Christmas for the children to go to London by coach to see Bertram Mills Circus or, in later years an ice show.’

‘The old Canvey Club was on the same side of the road as the existing Canvey Club but just around the corner, about opposite what is now Gwendalen Avenue. After it burnt down there was just a small area of grass and trees there but about 25 to 30 years ago a row of houses were built there.’

Hartfield Parade in 2004 – The shed left has since been demolished

‘I don’t know if Billy Adams or Carol are still on the island but they would be a great source of research on those clubs.’

‘Another club during the 1920s on the Island was the Clarendon, which was down Clarendon Road, off of Seaview Road. It was in a house there. I think I’ve told you before that many celebrities of the 1920s used to come to stay on Canvey in the summers and some would go to the Clarendon (my mother also used to sing there.)’

Kynoch’s Club Remains in 2008


Comments about this page

  • I also went to the Kynocks club with my grandparents Lil and Bill Dowler about the same time as Maureen. Charlie Neal owned it at the time I first remember going there, then sold to Nigger Adams. I can remember the men playing snooker used to put red hot pokers from the big open fire into there beer to take the chill off the beer. I remember Rosa a lovely lady who used to sing a song called Lets Be Happy. There was also the Dent family Ron, Frank,also they had a sister she was nice, I always came over shy when she was about. Frank was a jockey as he was very short. We would walk home to the point in the middle of the road with a torch in Grandads hand, and not see one car, a bit different today. I think i remember Maureens parents, her dad had a cast in his eye, and her mum was a blonde lady.

    By John Cousins (16/05/2008)
  • Young Bill Adams is still on the Island, he owns the old Canvey Club which has not changed in fifty odd years. Nigger bought the club and he always said it was one place he could not get barred from, also Billy owns the Windjammer pub, on the seafront.  Nigger had a putting green on the field next to the Windjammer with a shed on it were Nigger would stock it up with beer, you would go for nine holes get as far as the shed, inside would be Slim who Maureen mentioned, and Nigger, get so drunk you would forget the Golf, what a character Nigger was.

    By John Cousins (16/05/2008)
  • I think John is describing my in laws who also were very much a part of the Kynochs Club. Nigger used to sing ‘Stormy Weather’ when the mood took him and the Kynochs was a meeting place for many old Cnavey families, and their children. Trips to Billy Smarts Circus and Iceshows were organised for the children around Christmas time. Happy days!

    By Maureen Buckmaster (18/05/2008)
  • Kynochs was the watering hole of my paternal grandparents, George and Agnes Hollingbery so I was occasionally included in their Christmas parties. From what I have been told Nan and Grandad spent many happy evenings at the club and Nan played in their women’s dart team.

    By Shirley Thomas (13/01/2009)
  • Hi Shirley, I believe my grandfather Bill Dowler was your grandfather’s partner in the building trade they were plasterers and called Hollingberry and Dowler, I believe he was Charlie Hollingberry, and later went on to much bigger things. Going back to the Kynocks Club I remember the steps at the back of the club were we used to play, I did have a look round the back recently, and it all came flooding back, you could see the toilets that used to overlook the back, but it does look like its going to be flattened shortly, It would be nice if Billy Adams rescued the sign from the front of the building wich says Kynocks Club. Yes Maureen I was refering to your in laws, Tony’s Mum And Dad.

    By John Cousins ( john Tundervary) (29/01/2009)
  • My father, Pat Thain use to train at the Kynocks Club in the late 40’s and early 50’s. After the great flood of 1953 our whole family immigrated to Winnipeg in Canada. Dad continued in the professional boxing ranks not as a fighter but rather as a trainer and manager. Dad passed away in 1997 at the age of 79. I have a number of photos of Dad sparring and I am quite sure they are at the Kynocks. I would love to hear from any one who remembers Dad and my late Mum also called Pat.

    By Alan Thain (01/09/2009)
  • Seeing Kynocks club reminded me that my cousins Barry and Alan Whitley lived in a bungalow that was attached to the back of the Kynocks bldg. My parents David and Hilda Thomas were frequent members at the club and my mother also worked for Mrs Adams at the old Canvey Club. My sister Pauline Thomas nee Wiles still lives on Canvey Island.

    By richard thomas (24/10/2010)
  • Hi John, your grandfather Bill Dowler, did he have a son/nephew named Francis/Frank as my husbands grandads family were plasterers .

    By karen dowler (26/11/2012)
  • My Parents used to go to the Kynocks club, and all my family knew the Adams and still see Billy as my sister Win is in Compton Court Flats that Billy ownes. My dad was Joe Nash who was a builder on the Island and built the Rio at the Haystack. my uncle and aunt was Charles Hollingbery and Gwen, i had six sisters and one brother their names were Doreen nash now Grigsby, Joan nash now Lythgoe, Josie nash now Mortimore, Shirly nash now Gilroy, Win nash now Munt, Doris who is now passed away with cancer, then me Joe, and my brother Robert “Bob” and my Mum was Ada Knight who used to own Greengrocer shops on the island down the point, i am related to the names Boyce, Buckmaster, Windsor, Spires, Hollingberry, Saunders, and many others. i was born on canvey in North Avenue in 1948  now live in Norfolk.

    By JOE NASH (08/08/2014)
  • We used to run the Barnardiston Arms pub near Newmarket.  A bus full of people from the Windjammer club used to go to the races every July.  They would stop off at our pub on the way to be watered (and beered and spiritied, lol) then go to Newmarket.  They would stop at ours again to be fed, watered and entertained.  It was always a fantastic day and night.  Our regulars would come out that night because it was a great social occasion.  There would be music, dancing and singing.  When it was time for them to leave, the coach driver would have a hard job getting them all out of the pub and onto the bus for home.  They were a great crowd.  Christine would organise the day and she was manager of the club.  Mrs Adams would come with her sister and Billy would drive them in his Rolls Royce.  Could tell he was a jack the lad, lol.  A good time had by all.  And our tills nicely full.  Very fond memories of them all.

    By Kathy Hardy (11/12/2015)
  • i still own  one of those shops it’s been in my family for over 50 years used to be variety stores

    By Charlie haase (09/11/2016)
  • It was once suggested on a Facebook page that a family tree of all the related families should be produced. I think it’s almost impossible to create as so many of the families are interlinked. You can add to the list that Joe Nash made above: Knight, Keneally, Hepworth. Anymore?

    By Maureen Buckmaster (04/02/2020)
  • John cousins you mentioned my uncles Ron Dent and Frank Dent and their sister. There were 5 girls. Can you remember which one it was.

    By Helen Harrington (08/06/2020)
  • Helen i think he was talking about Rhona she was beautiful.

    By tony frost. (23/12/2020)
  • Tony Frost, Ron Dents daughter was called Rhona. He had 2 boys Terry & Steve too. Was married to Dot.

    By Kim Richards (28/02/2022)
  • Tony Frost. Ignore my comment. Ron’s daughter was Roma 🤦🏻‍♀️

    By Kim Richards (28/02/2022)
  • Hi Maureen and others. Please regard this remark as ‘ tongue in cheek’ but with reference to a ‘family tree’ considering our marshland origins perhaps a ‘mangrove forest ‘would be more appropriate. Even that might be less complex! 🤔😀 Graham.

    By Graham (28/02/2022)

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